Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

A Time to Keep Silence and a Time to Speak

by Liz Griffin

Whoever belittles his neighbour lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered
Proverbs 11:12-13, ESV

Have you ever wished you hadn’t said what you did? Did you ever regret posting quite so much information on Facebook or writing those words in an email? In this age of quick and easy communication there’s an even greater danger of making mistakes or being completely misunderstood in what we write publicly.

We may think we have imparted a clear message but are then horrified to discover that others have filtered it through their own experiences of life and have been offended or hurt. Perhaps our prayer should be that of the King David, ‘Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!’ (Psalm 141:3).

Some may feel they are called to use Twitter, Facebook or other means of communication to bring the straight edge of truth to a world full of false information and deliberate deceit, but, as Christians, I believe we need to be careful that our facts are trustworthy and true.

Jesus warned us against the pride of thinking we are better than others (Matthew 7:1-5), but went on to say, ‘Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you’ (Matthew 7:6). In the context, Jesus probably meant we are not to keep proclaiming the gospel to those who reject it strongly, but the Holy Spirit can apply this in other ways in our lives.

I have discovered there are some things to keep secret between me and the Lord; ‘A time to keep silence, and a time to speak’ (Ecclesiastes 3:7); ‘Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble’ (Proverbs 21:23). But I can be silently praying to the Lord about those things that I identify or discern to be wrong, until the time comes when He wants me to speak aloud to others. As the Contemporary English Version of the Bible says in Proverbs 25:11, ‘The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver’.

Proverbs has much to say about when to speak and how to speak, but I particularly like this statement and observation; ‘The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life’ (Proverbs 10:11). So, let’s intentionally speak blessing and bring life-giving water to others with our words today.

Prayer: Loving, heavenly Father, please help me today to refrain from saying things that are harmful and destructive to others. May I rather speak words that will bring life, health and encouragement to them, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.


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